FIMS Publications

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Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research

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This article describes the background, methodology, and results of a study undertaken in 2014 to determine university faculty awareness and perceptions of copyright as it affects their teaching. An online survey questionnaire was distributed to teaching faculty across Canada, seeking feedback about the copyright policies and training opportunities at their institutions, where they go for copyright assistance, and how they would respond to various copyright-related scenarios that may arise in the course of teaching.

Most of the respondents are aware of the copyright policies or guidelines at their universities, but much fewer know whether or not their institution offers copyright training. Of those who are aware of training opportunities, only one third have taken advantage of them. When needing assistance, faculty members are most likely to go to a librarian or to the institution’s copyright policy.

Responses to the four scenarios suggest that faculty members are more likely to share digital copyrighted materials (including online works) with their students, whereas they are more likely to ask permission or guidance when it comes to print materials.

Comments from the respondents touch upon issues of the complexity of copyright, and the often time-consuming process of obtaining permissions for the use of copyrighted materials in teaching.

This study was supported by an Ontario Graduate Scholarship.

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